Asbestos Risk Leisure Centre Closure
The Robinson Centre in Belfast was closed in 2015 due to asbestos risk fears. Stormont had pledged £500,000 towards a brand new leisure centre.
The leisure centre is on the Castlereagh Road. The total cost to rebuild the centre was an estimated £5 million.In 2015 the Belfast City Council approved demolishing the centre if it remained under their control when the new council structure kicked in.
There was potentially harmful fireproofing material in the building. This led to it being closed down. The council statement said that after a building management survey, there were numerous unidentified areas of asbestos in difficult to access areas within the building. They then commissioned further asbestos surveying as a precaution.
Why Does This Matter?
Many substances burn when heated to a high degree and some just melt or evaporate. Asbestos does not change when heated and so is fire resistant. Great for fireproofing, lagging and meeting fire safety standards.
So that’s exactly what happened. It was literally used throughout the building industry in Northern Ireland and still remains in many buildings today. The general advice (at the minute) is that if in good condition it should not be disturbed. If in bad condition it should be removed.
Asbestos matters because when asbestos fibres are inhaled it affects the body and can be fatal. Most people who fall victim to asbestos do not realise they have been exposed. Asbestos can cause:
- Asbestosis (scarring of the lungs) making it hard to breathe normally.
- Pleural Disease or Thickening (non-cancerous lung disease) that can make it harder to breathe normally. Lungs will work less efficiently.
- Lung Cancer (malignant tumor that blocks the air passages). Very dangerous and even more so if you are a smoker.
- Mesothelioma (rare cancer of the lung membrane) usually shows 20 – 30 years after asbestos exposure.
Asbestos exposure can also cause cancer of the larynx and ovary. Other studies have suggested that it can cause cancer of the pharynx, stomach and colorectum. You can read the article about the effects of asbestos here.
Limit Asbestos Risk
It is so important to limit your exposure to asbestos. It is a must to have an asbestos survey of your building. Many commercial buildings have a building officer or duty holder. This person can be legally obliged to have a safe asbestos management plan in place.
We carry out asbestos surveys of all types across Northern Ireland.
Contact Philip to book an asbestos survey on 07702 332 333.